You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow.Charles Stanley
Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.Robert Louis Stevenson
Traveling through Georgia during the late summer and fall cannot help but turn one’s mind to harvest time. Combines are on the road, tractors are at work in the fields, and newly formed hay bales dot the vast pastures. The farmers are reaping the results of their work. The seeds sown during the spring have produced the crops that will sustain their families and allow them to plant again – a perfect picture of God’s principle of sowing and reaping.
Think about it. They planted cotton seeds to reap cotton. Soybean seeds yielded soybeans. They sowed corn and peanuts and, yep, they harvested corn and peanuts. No surprises! Seems simple, but we struggle with this principle in personal lives. Sometimes we even call it unfair when it seems that the consequences in life are more than we can bear.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
I used to think that ‘sowing to the flesh’ was synonymous with sowing wild oats. Sowing wild oats carries the meaning of irresponsible living, reckless partying, and conducting a generally careless lifestyle. However, in scripture, ‘sowing to the flesh’ does not require the commission of cardinal sins, such as stealing, cheating, murder, or infidelity. ‘Sowing to the flesh’ deals with the state of the heart.
I ‘sow to the flesh’ when my entire focus is on this world, this life, and all that goes with it.
I can ‘sow to the flesh’ and still be considered an upstanding, even righteous, citizen of this world.
There’s the problem, though. My citizenship as a Christian is not of this world; I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and my focus and priorities must reflect that. What I love and how I spend my time are indications of my sowing habits.
Where do my thoughts live?
How is my time spent?
Which home do I dream and speak about?
What attitudes govern my actions?
How am I influencing those around me?
What are my favorite activities -
(the ones that consume the most of my thoughts and time)?
It is the principle of ‘first’. What takes first place in my life?
When I answer that question, I can see my basket of seeds that I am sowing. Then I recognize if I am sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit.
Verse 9 (And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.) assures me that sowing good seeds does not go unnoticed or unrewarded. I will reap a good harvest from following God – a harvest for which I do not need to apologize.
I sow good seeds when I invest in the life of a child,
when I act compassionately,
when I place service over self,
when I choose love over bitterness and grace over condemnation,
when I share God's word rather than the world's philosophy,
when my focus is on building God's Kingdom rather than my own.
I am busy sowing every day. Every choice and every action is a seed that can bring forth fruit. I just want to be sure that what I sow is what I wish to reap.
Have you checked your seed basket lately?
Job 4:8 8As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
II Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.